Jul 11, 2023

David Lascher

The 1990s was the decade of the teen hunk; they appeared on Saturday morning, on Saved by the Bell and its clones (California Dreams, Breaker High), on the teen-heavy nuclear family sitcoms on ABC's TGIF (Sabrina the Teenage Witch, Boy Meets World, Teen Angel), and on the material-starved kids' networks, Disney and Nickelodeon (Welcome Freshmen, Salute Your Shorts, The Adventures of Pete and Pete).

With all the teen hunks wandering around, it was easy to get lost in the crowd, even if you have a killer smile and a fantastic physique. David Lascher almost did.

Born in 1972, David hit Hollywood in a series of Burger King commercials and two failed network series before landing the role of teen operator on Hey, Dude  (1989-91), about the employees of a faltering dude ranch.  He hatched crazy schemes, competed with laconic Native American Danny Lightfoot (Joe Torres), gasped and  moaned over girls, and was nominated for a Young Artist Award.  But no one really noticed, not even when he took his shirt off.  Not that his smooth, muscular chest wasn't appealing, but if you changed he channel, you got Mark-Paul Gosselaer and Michael Cade.

 Next he was hired to play Vinnie Bonitardi on the TGIF series Blossom, as Blossom's wrong-side-of-the-tracks boyfriend.  He lasted through two seasons (1992-94), plus a special two-part call-back, but again, no one really noticed, not even in his swimsuit, shirtless, and underwear shots.  He was pleasantly muscular, but his co-star was the incredible Joey Lawrence.

In the fourth season of the TGIF "I've got a secret" comedy Sabrina the Teenage Witch (1999-2000), the teen witch went to college.  David played the manager of the coffee shop where she worked, and eventually competed with long-term boyfriend Harvey for her affection, which didn't make him popular with Sabrina-Harvey shippers.  He lasted for 3 seasons, then vanished, with viewership at an all time low.

But when he played a gay-vague or gay role, David had no trouble being noticed. His three-episode story arc as a gay high school jock on Beverly Hills 90210 was memorable, not at all shadowed by the regular cast of Beverly Hills musclemen like Jason Priestley and Ian Ziering (left).

In White Squall (1996), he has to contend with an incredible number of shirtless hunks, including Scott Wolf, Ryan Philippe, Jeremy Sisto, Ethan Embry, Balthazar Getty, and Jason Marsden -- and he doesn't even take his shirt off  -- yet his performance stands out as quiet, dignified, and touching.

Note to David Lascher: gay characters from now on.
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